Thomas West’s ground breaking book In the Mind’s Eye was first published in 1997 and was up-dated last year. It challenges many myths about the nature of intelligence, exploring the visual strengths that many non-traditional learners, such as those with dyslexia, have.  His new chapters investigate how tapping into new technologies greatly enhances creative potential.

In the Foreword, Oliver Sacks writes:

People with dyslexia are often regarded as defective, as missing something – a facility in reading or linguistic thinking – which the rest of us have. But those of us who are predominantly verbal or ‘lexical’ thinkers could just as well be thought of as ‘avisuals’. There may indeed be a sort of reciprocity between lexical and visual powers. West makes a convincing argument that a substantial section of the population, often highly intelligent, may combine reading problems with heightened visual powers and are often adept at compensating for their problems in one way or another – even though they may suffer greatly at school, where so much is based on reading.

Some of our most original intellects (e.g. da Vinci, Edison, Yeats, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Lewis Carroll, and Winston Churchill) relied heavily on visual modes of thought, processing information in terms of images instead of words or numbers. How many visual thinkers in school today are languishing for lack of understanding of their extraordinary talents and insights?

As our technology, economy and society are transformed at ever greater rates, while our institutions hold fast ever more tightly to outmoded ideas, perhaps it is time for some really fresh thinking – especially from a quarter where it might have been least expected. The old measurement scales don’t fit any more.

West’s blog can be found here. Posts tend to be long and infrequently added; but are worth reading.

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